Dynamical Complexity of the 2015 St. Patrick's Day Magnetic Storm at Swarm Altitudes Using Entropy Measures

Entropy (Basel). 2020 May 19;22(5):574. doi: 10.3390/e22050574.


The continuously expanding toolbox of nonlinear time series analysis techniques has recently highlighted the importance of dynamical complexity to understand the behavior of the complex solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere coupling system and its components. Here, we apply new such approaches, mainly a series of entropy methods to the time series of the Earth's magnetic field measured by the Swarm constellation. We show successful applications of methods, originated from information theory, to quantitatively study complexity in the dynamical response of the topside ionosphere, at Swarm altitudes, focusing on the most intense magnetic storm of solar cycle 24, that is, the St. Patrick's Day storm, which occurred in March 2015. These entropy measures are utilized for the first time to analyze data from a low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite mission flying in the topside ionosphere. These approaches may hold great potential for improved space weather nowcasts and forecasts.

Keywords: Swarm mission; dynamical complexity; entropy; magnetic storm; space weather.